As the nation celebrates Carers Rights Day, carers in Wolverhampton are being invited to have their say and help shape a new strategy which aims to ensure the right support and services are in place for them and the people that they look after.

Carers are adults, children and young people who provide unpaid care for a friend, family member, child or neighbour who, due to illness, disability, a mental health need or an addiction, would not be able to cope without their support. It includes people who receive Carers Allowance. 

The City of Wolverhampton Council is developing an All-Age Carers Strategy and wants to hear from carers in the city to find out about their experience of caring, their needs, what is important to them and what would improve their quality of life.

It also wants to hear from professionals and organisations that come into contact with, or provide support to, carers in Wolverhampton. 

There are 3 surveys, one for adult carers available at Adult Carers, one for young carers aged 18-25 available at Carers aged 18-25 years and one for professionals available at Professionals. The closing date for comments is Friday 14 January, 2022.

Other activities are also planned before the engagement closes on 28 January, 2022.

Councillor Linda Leach, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Adult Services, said: "Carers play a crucial role in our local community and have a hugely positive impact on the lives of the people that they support. 

"It's vital that they are given as much help as possible to enable them to carry out their caring role, and that is why we are developing a new All-Age Carers Strategy for Wolverhampton.

"If you are a carer, or you know someone who is, please take a few moments to have your say and shape our new Carers Strategy."

Councillor Beverley Momenabadi, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, added: “Carers Rights Day is a perfect time to launch this important engagement exercise which we hope will help ensure our carers have the help and services they need to enable them to provide the best possible support for the person they care for.”

The 2011 census found that 27,136 people living in Wolverhampton were providing unpaid care. This figure is likely to have increased since then, and particularly as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Carers can spend up to 50 hours or more a week in their caring role.

Wolverhampton's Carer Support Team offers a range of support for family carers including practical information, advice and guidance, benefits advice, emotional support, training, a Carers Emergency Card, social activities and more. For more information, please visit Carer support. 

Spurgeons Young Carers offers a wide range of services to support young carers, from mentoring and educational support to activities and trips away to give them much needed time out from their caring duties. Find out more at Spurgeons Young Carers

This year's Carers Rights Day campaign is focusing on raising awareness of the rights that unpaid carers have. The Covid-19 pandemic has had a massive impact on the lives of carers, affecting access to services, the ability to juggle work and care and much more. That's why it’s more important than ever that carers are aware of what they have the right to.

Ensuring carers are given the support they need to carry out their caring role is part of the Wolverhampton Cares initiative, designed to help the city's vital health and social care sector through another difficult Covid-19 affected winter and beyond. To find out more about Wolverhampton Cares, please visit Wolverhampton Cares